Ways to help pupils with a vision impairment access the curriculum and keep a good posture.

For pupils with a vision impairment (VI), the viewing position is a crucial factor in:

  • accessing the curriculum
  • maintaining good posture 

Depending on the eye condition and individual needs, the pupil might need: 

  • to sit in the front of the classroom, so they can see the teacher and white board
  • to sit on the appropriate side of the classroom if their field of vision is affected, for example if they have monocular vision or hemianopia: when a pupil has vision only on the right, they should sit towards the left of the classroom or table
  • good, even lighting, so they can
    • see as many details as possible
    • avoid fatigue 

The pupil might need to use:

  • a slope for near viewing: the desk should be big enough to use the slope 
  • low vision aids, for example magnifying glasses or electronic magnifiers: make sure there is enough space to use and store them
  • stands to hold an iPad or other resources, as many pupils with VI find it easier to access them when presented vertically
  • a chair of an appropriate size and height

Things you can do to help the pupil

Encourage the pupil to avoid clutter on the desk. 

Let the pupil tilt their head, even if it looks ‘incorrect’. For example, pupils with nystagmus will find it easier to look when tilting the head. 

Pupils with a very close viewing distance for reading and writing are likely to struggle to write at the top of an A4 sized exercise book (portrait). It may be preferable to divide the book in half so that the top is not so high up.

Do not expect the pupil to share resources with other pupils as they will need to have the resource at the optimum viewing distance

Be aware that a lot of technology surrounding the pupil may restrict their access to socialising with other pupils and therefore become isolating.

Contact us
Sensory Support Service
Elmfield House
Greystoke Avenue
Westbury-on-Trym
BS10 6AY

Phone: 0117 903 8442
Text: 07810 506 669
Email: sensorysupportservice@bristol.gov.uk